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First time in Montreal - late november

My wife and I are making our first trip to Montreal over the (US) Thanksgiving weekend in late November. We're staying at Auberge Les Passants du Sans Soucy in Old Montreal. Breakfast is included in our hotel, so I don't need any help with that. We're will to range all over the city for great food. I was hoping you could offer some commentary with things already on our list.

Thursday lunch: Olive + Gourmando (we're looking for something casual in Old Montreal -- how will this work?)

Thursday dinner: Joe Beef

Friday lunch: We're going to be at the Oratory of St. Joseph). Is it a reasonable walk to head across Mont Royal and over to Schwartz's, St Viateur, etc.?

Friday dinner: I would love a recommendation for a good Middle Eastern place. How is Alep? It gets good reviews, but I'm not sure if there is an even better place for this type of food.

Saturday lunch: We will head to Marche Jean Talon just before lunch. I am assuming that we can eat lunch there, between samples, bakeries, and little prepared food stands, is that right?

Saturday dinner: Au Pied de Cochon

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Joe Beef
2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

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  1. "We're going to be at the Oratory of St. Joseph). Is it a reasonable walk to head across Mont Royal and over to Schwartz's, St Viateur, etc.?"

    yes... this is a VERY long walk (last thing you want is to get to Schwartz's tired and hungry and have to wait in a silly line up)... take bus or metro.

    1. I think I'd walk through McGill U, up Mont Royal, and over to the Oratory. Then bus to Schwartz's. An alternative to Alep is Kaza Maza. I've never eaten at Alep but I love Kaza Maza. Alep is near Jean-Talon market so rather than go to the same neighbourhood twice, heading to Kaza Maza will allow you to see more of the city. Once at Schwartz's you can stay around the Plateau and then it's an easy walk over to Kaza Maza on Parc Ave. I'm not sure when you'd fit in a visit to St. Viateur bagels. Though it works geographically, it's be tough, stomach-wise, to squeeze it in between Schwartz's and Kaza Maza.

      1. You can always start at Schwartz's and take your order to go, traverse up the mountain and picnic at either Beaver Lake or the Mont Royal cemetary...

        1 Reply
        1. re: OliverB

          I wouldn't recommend a picnic in late November...

        2. The walk from the Oratory to Schwartz's via Mount Royal would take about 90 minutes, and the first half would be mainly uphill. The scenery and views are great once you reach the mountain but not so interesting before.

          St. Viateur is in northern Mile End, not exactly near Schwartz's, and the direct route from the Oratory wouldn't take you over Mount Royal. If it's bagels you're after, Fairmount Bagel is a little closer to the deli, though you're still looking at a 20 minute walk. The 51 bus, which stops in front of the Oratory, takes you to Mile End and the Plateau.

          The excellent Alep is on Jean-Talon, a stone's throw from the market. You could kill two birds by hitting the market on Friday late afternoon and then having dinner at Alep. Alternatively, on Friday have dinner at Damas, Kaza Maza's upscale brother, on Parc only a block south of St. Viateur, whose eponymous bagel factory is open 24/7. (And, hurrah!, Damas has finally got its liquor permit.)

          Jean Talon Market has plenty of food options, from grazing at stands to sandwiches, crêpes and the like at booths, to sit-down cafés. There's also a wealth of options on the surrounding streets.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carswell

            i loved queue de cheval and moiche's for steakhouses. toque was exellent. bonaparte was very good french restaurant in old montreal.

          2. What an odd coincidence--came across your post while looking for recommendations for Thanksgiving weekend...my mother and brother and I are heading up to Montreal Wed - Friday and we happen to be staying in the same place as you! Joe Beef and Au Pied de Cochon were on my shortlist as well.

            8 Replies
            1. re: ethorson

              What other food destinations do you have on your agenda? I've got Joe Beef, Au Pied de Cochon, Jean Talon Market, Atwater Market (?), Schwartz's, St. Viateur Bagel, Alep, and Olive+Gourmando. Perhaps I've overlooked something?

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              Joe Beef
              2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

              1. re: glutton

                While Joe Beef and Au Pied du Cochon are good recommendations, I suggest you bring along your lipitor since the food there is loaded with fat ;) As for a Middle Eastern suggestion I strongly recommend Damas on Parc Avenue. Not too many reviews for them yet since they opened recently, they're sister restaurant Kaza Maza has been around with great reviews. I only suggest it because they have more authentic home cooked dishes than your typical kebabs found in other places.

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                Joe Beef
                2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

                1. re: 3adas

                  poor restaurants in that construction mess on parc,--there was a nice review of damas in community paper mirror yesterday
                  http://www.montrealmirror.com/wp/2010...

                  1. re: 3adas

                    I have some concerns about the fattiness of the food at APC. Do they let diners share things? That's our usual strategy for contending with this situation, but some restaurants look down on the practice.

                    1. re: glutton

                      The food at APDC does not have to be fatty - it depends on what you order. You can certainly share things - portions are quite large. They also offer smaller portions of some items, like their tartare and fries (which, with a salad, makes a fine meal IMHO) and I'm almost positive I've had a half order of their foie gras poutine before, although I don't see it on the menu. As for Joe Beef, I have never noticed their food to be loaded with fat, although portions are large (again, sharing is the way to go there) - perhaps 3adas would like to clarify that comment?

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                      Joe Beef
                      2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

                      1. re: cherylmtl

                        Portions are large absolutely! Last time I was there I ordered the fish (can't remember what it was, it's been a while), I got two whole filets. One filet was more than enough, especially after you realize it was seared in butter (lots of it), then the two filets were layered over each other so that the bottom filet soaked up all the butter of the top filet and then all the butter underneath it. Again, I'm not saying it's not good, but maybe cherylmtl's suggestion to share is the way to go.

                        1. re: cherylmtl

                          Joe Beef is not light either! I absolutly loved the lobster spaghetti I had over there last time, a whole lobster over spaghetti with a sauce made of lobster bisque and bacon! It doesn't taste fatty but definitly is!

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                          Joe Beef
                          2491 Rue Notre-Dame W, Montreal, QC H3J1N6, CA

                    2. re: glutton

                      HI

                      If you are tight on time I wouldn't bother with the Atwater market unless you had wanted to walk along the Lachine canal. Jean Talon market is much much better